In 1852, eighteen year old Honoré Escolle originally from Salernes, France settled in Monterey. He established a bakery and mercantile shop at the south end of Alvarado Street, next to the Cooper-Molera Adobe. Later he opened a pottery kiln at his residence, the Stokes Adobe House (today home of Restaurant 1833).
To support his business enterprises, Escolle bought numerous acres of land throughout Monterey, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.
One of his tracks in Monterey County, known as Rancho Las Manzanitas, was located just east of Carmel Beach. Land that today is bordered by Monte Verde to the West, Twelfth Avenue to the South, Carpenter and Lobos to the East, and First Avenue to the North. This land in the 1800’s, as its name implies, was heavily impacted by mazanita, a ground hugging coastal plant. At the time, the land was considered to be of little use to Escolle.
In 1870, Fr. Casanova, a missionary priest from Italy, was appointed pastor of the Catholic Church in Monterey. This assignment included the abandoned former headquarters of the mission chain, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (Carmel Mission).
By this time, other than a few squatters, Carmel Mission had been almost completely abandoned. The roof partially collapsed, and many of the tiles and roof beams stolen for use in other structures nearby.
Robert Louis Stevenson who attended San Carlos Day Mass at the Mission in November 4, 1879 wrote: “The church is roofless and ruinous, sea-breezes and sea-fogs and the alteration of the rain and sunshine, daily widening the breaches…Only one day in the year,…the “padre” drives over the hill from Monterey; the little sacristy, which is the only covered portion of the church, is filled with seats and decorated for the service; the Indians troop together,…you may hear God served with perhaps more touching circumstances than in any other temple under heaven. An Indian, stone-blind and about eighty years of age, conducts the singing; other Indians compose the choir…I have never seen faces more vividly lit up with joy than the faces of these Indian singers...” (1)
Fr. Casanova was that “padre” that Stevenson referred to. Once a year on the feast day of San Carlos Borromeo (San Carlos Day, November 4) Fr. Casanova would make his way over the hill from Monterey to say mass at the mission. By the time Stevenson attended mass in 1879, the sacristy had been re-roofed.
In August of 1877 for a cost of $44, Fr. Casanova re-roofed the sacristy in order to hold mass on San Carlos Day without the threat of rain.
But this wasn’t enough, Fr. Casanova was determined to raise money to repair the entire mission in time to honor the centennial of Fr. Junipero Serra who died at the mission on August 28, 1784.
In 1880 Fr. Casanova began to charge tourists who visited the mission ruins, ten cents. By the end of the first year, he had collected a little over $11.00.
On July 3, 1882, in view of a crowd of 400, the graves of Fathers Serra, Lasuen, and Crespi were opened and the hallowed remains verified. This incident focused attention of Fr Casanova’s desire to restore the mission. With help from Mrs. Leland Stanford, $4,000 was raised by 1883 for the restoration.
On August 28, 1884, the centennial of Serra’s death, 2,000 people attended the Carmel Mission’s re-dedication by Fr. Casanova.
“The mission began to attract a steady stream of wealthy tourists from the huge lavish Hotel Del Monte…Leading Catholics in northern California, aroused by the re-discovery of the tombs of the pioneer missionaries, the restoration of the mission, the beauty of its setting and the success of the flourishing Methodist camp ground at Pacific Grove, now began to bestir themselves. The Young Men’s Institute, new, ambitious and growing, led the movement to build a summer colony of their own near the old mission.” (2)
Santiago Duckworth was born in Monterey June 2, 1865. His mother was the daughter of Jose Figueroa, Governor of Alta California from 1833 – 1835. His father, Lorenzo Santiago Duckworth Vate, was the son of an English sailor who deserted in 1822 and became a Mexican citizen in 1825. Lorenzo’s mother was Antonia Armenta whose father held the land grant to Point Pinos.
Sadly in 1871, Santiago’s father died. Santiago and his two older brothers were sent to the Watsonville Orphan Asylum run by Franciscan Fathers.
In January 1883, at 17 years of age, Santiago took a job for the Western Union Telegraph Company in San Luis Obispo, then moved to Nogales in 1884 to work for the Mexico Railway Company and the Federal Telegraph Service in Sonora where he obtained the title of chief operator. In 1886, at the age of 21, he returned to Monterey.
Reuniting with his older brother, Belesario Edward (B.E.) in 1887, Santiago established an insurance and real estate business Duckworth Bro’s. on Alvarado Street in Monterey.
After working for the railroad in Mexico, Santiago felt that railway was the future, and something happened to justify this belief. On January 9, 1888 the Pacific Improvement Company filed articles of incorporation for the Monterey Extension Railway Company.
The purpose of the Monterey Extension Railway Company was to continue the rail line from Monterey to the mouth of the Carmel River.
Santiago saw the railway extension to Carmel as the opportunity of a lifetime. He “conceived the idea of developing a Roman Catholic community near the [newly renovated] Carmel Mission to rival the Methodist colony at Pacific Grove.” (3)
Santiago found the property known as Rancho Las Manzanitas just east of Carmel Beach as the perfect spot for his Catholic Summer Resort. He approached Honoré Escolle with his idea of subdividing the property into lots and building a Catholic Community complete with a park and meeting halls.
Escolle had little use for the property so on February 18, 1888, he signed an indenture which bonded 324.36 of the Manzanitas acres to Santiago and Bellsario Duckworth.
This was a multi-page document with a number of stipulations a few of which follow:
– Land was to be divided into four tracts.
– No lot was to exceed 50 x 125 feet.
– No lot to be sold for less than $10.
– All money received from the sale of lots to be paid to Escolle.
– No part of Tract 2 to be sold until Escolle received the sum of $5,250 from the sales of lots in Tract 1 less 5% on each sale to be paid to Duckworth Bros as commission. The same stipulation held for Tract 3 and 4. (4)
In March of 1888, Duckworth commissioned W. C. Little of Monterey to survey the Escolle property and draw up a map of the townsite of Carmel City with 135 blocks divided into four tracks. On May 1, 1888, Little’s map was filed with the county recorder in Salinas.
The following year, Chinese workers began grading the area around the end of the rail line in Monterey. Believing this to be a sign that construction for a railway line from Monterey to Carmel was imminent, Santiago placed an advertisement in the newspaper for the sale of Carmel City lots in April 1889.
“A rare opportunity is now offered for a judicious investment. The property is divided into four sections, numbered respectively 1,2,3,4. Section 1 will be sold first and prices in the remaining sections will be advanced 50 to 100 percent.”
On July 1, 1889 Santiago Duckworth sold the first seven lots in Carmel City. By December of that year he had sold 207 lots and had reserved five lots on the north side of Broadway (now Junipero) between 6th and Ocean for Carmel City’s first hotel.
Over half of the buyers of these first lots were teachers and school administrators from San Francisco County. But the most significant of these new residents was Ms. Abbie Jane Hunter.
By the end of 1889, the railroad was extended from Monterey to Asilimar. Then the crew building the railway left town. Santiago had heard that they would return within two years to continue to the line to Pebble Beach and on to Carmel.
Around 1890 Santiago produced a promotional brochure touting Carmel City as a “Catholic Summer Resort.” “Beautiful sites for Summer Homes adjoining the Carmel Mission at nominal cost apply to S. J. Duckworth for property in the only Catholic Summer Resort on the Pacific Coast at prices ranging from $20 to $25 a lot.” (5)
The brochure contained a view of Carmel City from what is today Lower Trail. Santiago Duckworth in his buggy is seen in the foreground.
(1) Robert Louis Stevenson, The Travels and Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), pp. 167-68.
(2) Noticias del Puerto de Monterey, A Quarterly Bulletin of Historic Monterey Issued by the Monterey History and Art Association, Vol XI, Number 2, June 1967, p. 10.
(3) Lagorio, Elena and Elmer, “Carmel’s First Developers Counted On Railroad to Bringing them Riches,” The Herald Weekend Magazine, July 27, 1980, p. 11.
(5) Cook, Wilma. Pine Cone, Friday April 16, 1946, p. 10.
(6) Ibid, Lagorio.
(7) Scrivani, Brother Lawrence. Santiago Duckworth and the Catholic Resort of Carmel City. Transcript of Brother Lawrence Scrivani from lecture presented by Harrison Memorial Library April 26, 2004. Transcript Courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library Local History Branch.
(8) Ibid, Lagorio.
Scrivani, Brother Lawrence, Santiago Duckworth and the Catholic Resort of Carmel City. Picture of subdivision map of Carmel City superimposed on current Carmel-by-the-Sea map. Transcript of Brother Lawrence Scrivani from lecture presented by Harrison Memorial Library April 26, 2004. Transcript Courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library Local History Branch.
Picture of Carmel Mission July 3, 1882 showing extent of roof and structural damage. Morgado, Martin J., Junipero Serra’s Legacy (Mount Carmel, Pacific Grove, 1987), p. 118.
Picture Carmel Mission interior, c. 1870. Cross on left marks approximate site of Serra’s grave. Ibid, p. 114.
Picture Carmel Mission interior, July 3, 1882. Public viewing of Serra’s grave, showing Father Casanova standing to the right of the opening. Ibid, p. 119.
Picture of restored Carmel Mission as the people arrived for the re-dedication on August 28, 1884. Ibid, p. 120.
Picture of Santiago Duckworth – The Herald Weekend Magazine, August 3, 1980.
1891 drawing of Duckworth Bro’s Real Estate and Insurance building on Alvarado Street, Monterey – Courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library Local History Branch.
Survey map of Carmel City filed May 1, 1888. Ibid.
Advertisement by Santiago Duckworth for Carmel City Catholic Summer Resort c. 1889. Ibid.
Advertisement for Carmel City Catholic Summer Resort c. 1890. Ibid.
Picture of Santiago Duckworth in a buggy on what is today Lower Trail overlooking Carmel City. Taken 1890 by C. W. J. Johnson for a Carmel City promotional brochure. Ibid.
Picture of Hotel Carmelo photographed by Johnson for Duckworth’s promotional brochure. Lagorio, Elena and Elmer, The Herald Weekend Magazine, July 27, 1980. Courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library Local History Branch.
Picture of Abbie Jane Hunter – Courtesy of Harrison Memorial Library Local History Branch.
Color photographs of Carl Cherry and former home of Abbie Jane Hunter by L. A. Momboisse.